November 18, 2011

Yup, I Am One Of Those Twilight Moms

Last night I went to the grand opening of Breaking Dawn, the new Twilight movie. At midnight. While I figured there would be a 50/50 split of moms and teenagers, there was a huge diversity of people there. Couples, young folks, old folks, even dudes.

And I loved it. LOOOOOOVED it. And since I'm too tired to be creative after I stayed up all night, I'm linking you up to this post I wrote about liking Twilight last year. I still love Twilight, I'm still not ashamed, and I hope you'll respect me in the morning. But if you won't, I'm okay with that too. Hey, at least I don't watch 16 and Pregnant.

Nothing good comes from taking pictures at 2 a.m. in a movie theater.

November 11, 2011

Black Friday Is Coming! (Oh, And Thanksgving Too)

I wrote about Black Friday last year at  Things I Can't Say. I gotta say, the response was less than stellar. Everyone thought I was crazy for going out to battle the crowds at 3 in the morning! (I do not battle the crowds, by the way, and I'd never trample someone for a $10 DVD.) While I am reasonably certain that I am not completely crazy, I understand that some people aren't as desperate for a good deal frugal as I am.  So, this year I am back with my tips for Black Friday On-line shopping. Here we go!

Many stores now have a lot of their items available on-line. Now, if Wal-Mart is selling 15 laptops at $198 each, NO- those won't be on-line. But lots of the toys, clothing and housewares are available on-line. Get your mouse ready and plop your butt on the couch with your laptop- the sales go on-line at different times, but it's a safe bet to start checking for the Eastern time zone. And then it's refresh, refresh, refresh.

But don't just think you can leisurely browse and get what you want. You need a game plan. Start studying the ads now (they're just starting to come out). Decide what items are most important to you- generally I look for at least a 50% off savings. You'll want to add these first, and check out fast. Items sell out in no time (and trust me, it's really maddening when items in your cart are no longer available). Make sure that you have an account registered and your payment info stored for a speedy check out.

One last thing to consider (are you still there? Almost done!) are those pesky shipping charges. Scoring all those good deals won't be worth it when you see a $70 shipping charge (true story, TOYS R US). Wal-Mart has some great shipping deals. 2 years ago I bought a GPS there which shipped for 98 cents. Toys R Us, like I said, has some of the most ridiculous shipping fees (and it is the worst store to go to on Black Friday! Do not attempt!). Fortunately, they have a service called ShopRunner (this is not an affiliate link). It's a shipping service similar to Amazon Prime. For $79 a year, you get free 2-day shipping to TRU and a few other random stores. But $79 is a lot of money just for free shipping on most TRU items- therefore, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CANCEL YOUR FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP BEFORE THE 30 DAYS ARE UP. It's what I did last year, and it worked perfectly. I was even able to make multiple orders as different items became available, and my items came super fast!

WHEW, that was a lot of info for one post. I hope I haven't scared you off Black Friday shopping even more then you already may have been. I'm not sure if I'll be heading out to the stores this year or not. It may be my year to shop from my comfy couch.

Have any good Black Friday stories to share?

November 4, 2011

Not Blessed Mama's Unwanted and Unsolicited Product Review: Bio Sphere Living Ecosystem

It's not often that I stumble upon a product that makes me want to sing it's praises to high heaven. (Not since the glorious Suave Dry Shampoo post. And do you want to know what Suave said when I e-mailed them that I wrote a slightly wildly popular blog post about them? "Thanks! Sign up for our mailing list to receive special offers and information!" Bastards.) Anywho, recently we ordered something I am totally in love with. And of course, I had to share it with you, my dear mama friends.

You know that we love pets in the Not Blessed household. You've seen our guinea pigs and cyborg cat, and if you didn't, that's a shame because I am too lazy to go dig up the pictures. But animals are a lot of work- kind of like children. You feed them, you clean up their poop, and all they do is make a mess and look cute. And make lots of irritating noises.

Well, Not Blessed Mama is SO TIRED OF CLEANING UP POOP. There's poop everywhere. Guinea pig poop, fish poop, cat poop, and if I'm unlucky, human poop. So much poop. Definitely too much.

 Enter our new "pets":

It's the Bio Sphere Living Ecosystem from Hearthsong. Look! It's cute little tiny shrimps, living in a sealed container. No feeding- no pooping- no dying- just cute little shrimps swimming around! It's a little pricey at thirty dollars, but it sure as hell is worth it to have some animals in the house that won't stink up the place and rip holes in your sofa.

And these things are hardy. I accidentally left them outside overnight (or two nights) (or three) when I was trying to get them some indirect sunlight, and they survived. The only thing you have to do for these suckers is open the sphere once a month for the first 3 months to give them some air- and that's it! The directions said they live a long time too, like 4 years. I'm not sure exactly how long, since we spilled water on the directions and tossed them. I don't even really know what they eat, which kind of makes me a failure since this was bought with my homeschool funds. But forget all that! Do not buy your kid a cat- or a guinea pig- or a dog. Buy them some friendly little crustaceans and enjoy the easy life of a shrimp owner.

This is not a paid or sponsored post. Bio Sphere and Hearthsong do not know me- please do not tell them I am writing about them, or they'd probably send me a cease-and-desist letter. 
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